In order of severity:
Stocks: While not requiring a torturer, this does take a great deal of time, since the criminal is only locked in a board.
Humiliation Mask: Still no torturer needed, this one is slightly faster than the above method, but wearing a donkey mask still takes a while.
Gibbet: Still taking some time, the person is placed in a suspended cage. No torturer required.
Wheel: Things are getting faster, with is now making the wheel, where the person is spun around. This is faster than many forms of non-lethal punishment. This requires a torturer.
Flogging Post: A simple whipping, still faster than all above versions.
Burning Chair: The burning chair is exactly what it is, a burning chair. You will need a tortuerer for this one, although criminals tend to be more receptive when the bottom of their pants (and half their buttocks) are gone.
Rack: Requiring a torturer still, the rack will streth a person. While I havent seen a marked improvement in speed over the last version with this one, I'mmsure there is, and I prefer this method to the burning chair.
Burning Post: We are now entering the realm of lethal punishment. This death is slow and painful, requiring two torturers to handle. In the end, the person is removed from the population for his sins and a newer, cleaner person appears.
Gallows: This still takes time, but hanging a man is also lethal and is a good deal quicker than the last method. Two torturers are required.
Block: No blood, but the head is gone. The quickest way of penance is to end the subject's life immediately, requiring only a second and two torturers.
I recommend the last one myself. While I am partial to using non-lethal punishment sometimes, I far prefer to kill those who have sinned and replace them with more loyal people from the pool. Killing them just makes rehabilitation faster, since, while they are being punished, they aren't working.
One of the ways that this game works is that you get honour for throwing a feast. The best way to get this done, is to throw a feast, and then, once it seems to be underway, click "Return to Keep", which ends the feast immediately, with all honour gained.
For the most part, you don't need this, but in times of emergency it does help.
In Stronghold 2, taxes define a lot of how popular you are. Below is a list of how much you can charge, and the return change in popularity.
Large Bribe- +8 popularity
Small Bribe- +4 popularity
No Taxes - +1 popularity
Low Taxes- -2 popularity
Normal Taxes- -4 popularity
High Taxes- -6 popularity
Extortionate Taxes- -8 popularity
Cruel Taxes- -12 popularity
Extra Cruel- -16 popularity
The more you compensate by being nice, the more you can choose to gouge their pockets, if you wish.
If you have the Stronghold 2 vr 1.0 this cheat will help u have a high popularity by messing with your treasury. But this cheat is for those who DON'T care about getting an income of money. So what you do is you place a treasury on your map. Then put it to Large bride then PAUSE the game and get the delete button and click it over 5 times. then UN-pause the game and you will see in that popularity book + 8 on treasury while its not there at all and the best part you wont have to pay your peasants anything at all. Hope this Glitch helps.
Ok all you gotta do is pause the game, then go to the military icon, then click the siege camp. Put it somewhere on the map (remember, the game has to be paused.) Once you have put the siege camp and the game is paused,then get the eraser and keep clicking the siege camp while the game is paused and you should get a huge amount of money keep clicking and the money shall go up real fast. This is very useful and you don't have to put a money tax (if you are that greedy you can put a money tax still) and your population will grow faster. Enjoy and i hope this cheat helps you.